Planetary Health Conference

Lynn Valley, British Columbia.


We are pleased to announce that the annual Climate Emergency conference, hosted by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), is back this fall in virtual format. This year, the topics will be focused on taking action on planetary health.

Why is this conference important and why is it relevant to you?

The World Health Organization has stated that the climate crisis is the biggest health concern of the 21st century and the Lancet has said that fighting climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity. If we do not make major changes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the next 10 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts catastrophic effects on the environment and human health. This conference will inspire us all in our health care roles to better understand these issues and advocate for necessary systemic change.

Who should join us?

This conference will be of interest to physicians, medical learners, nurses, and other health professionals.

Learn more here.

Nutrition Screening & Primary Care

“British Columbia’s population is rapidly aging: the number of adults in BC who are 65 years of age or older exceeded 1 million for the first time in 2021, and those who are over 85 years of age make up the fastest-growing age group in Canada. These demographic trends will create additional pressures on the health care system due to increased demands for care among the aging population. To reduce the burden on BC’s health care system, it will be important to consider strategies and practices that can help older adults live healthily and independently.

Malnutrition is a common yet often overlooked health issue among older adults. It is defined by the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force as “both the deficiency and excess of energy, protein, and other nutrients.” One-third of Canadians 65 years of age or older are at risk for malnutrition. The impact of malnutrition on older adults is well documented, including reduced quality of life, increased hospitalizations, and higher risk of mortality. Malnutrition also contributes to complex health concerns, with malnourished older adults experiencing delayed wound healing, impaired functional status, weakened immune function, and increased risk of frailty and falls. Malnourished older adults are, therefore, less likely to retain the ability to live independently and have a significantly increased risk of acute hospitalization.

The health consequences of malnutrition among older adults also impose considerable costs on the health care system. A 2017 study of adults admitted to Canadian hospitals found patients who were malnourished experienced 18% longer stays and 31% to 34% higher costs compared with those who were well nourished. On average, malnourished surgical patients incurred $2851 more in hospital costs than well-nourished patients and were nearly twice as likely to experience hospital readmission within 15 days. Implementation of nutrition programs can result in considerable savings to the health care system. In one home health setting, the implementation of a multisite nutrition-focused quality improvement program resulted in a reduction in the need for patients to seek health care services such that savings amounted to $1500 per patient or $2.3 million over a 90-day period. Small investments can return substantial cost savings; for every $1 spent on dietitian-led nutrition interventions, the health care system can save $5 to $99 through reductions in costs associated with hospitalizations, medications, and physician time.”

More on the Nutrition screening and primary care: Identifying malnutrition early in seniors via BCMJ.

Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Medical Education

Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 – This webinar will be delivered in English
Delivery 1: 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
Delivery 2: 12:00pm-1:00pm PST (3:00pm-4:00pm EDT)
Title: Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Medical Education
Presenters: Dr. Ayelet Kuper and Dr. Umberin Najeeb, University of Toronto


Dr. Ayelet Kuper, MD, DPhil, FRCPC is the Senior Advisor on Antisemitism for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is an Associate Professor in UofT’s Department of Medicine and practices medicine within the Division of General Internal Medicine at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is a Scientist and Associate Director at the Wilson Centre (UHN/UofT). She is interested in the kinds of knowledge we see as legitimate within medical education and medicine more broadly, and in the ideas, individuals, and groups that are included or excluded based on their knowledge claims. A child and grandchild of Holocaust survivors, she holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford in Holocaust literature in addition to her medical training and is cross-appointed to UofT’s Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. She has been teaching about equity and inclusion within the MD Program, graduate programs, and various residency programs for many years, and she sits on numerous committees related to anti-oppression and social justice for a wide range of equity-deserving groups at the Faculty of Medicine and at UofT. She has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers, many of which relate to power, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

Dr. Umberin Najeeb, MD, FCPS (Pak), FRCPC is the Senior Advisor on Islamophobia for the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine and a staff internist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. She is the Faculty Lead, Equity for the Department of Medicine and the Co-Director of the Department of Medicine’s Master Teacher Program at the University of Toronto. She developed and implemented a unique research based longitudinal collaborative mentorship program for international medical graduate (IMG) physicians. Her areas of scholarly focus are 1) transition and integration of IMGs (and other Internationally Educated Health Professionals) into their training and working environments and 2) health professions education with specific focus on curriculum design, program development, faculty development and mentorship. She uses her voice and lived experiences as a Muslim woman to be an ally in her many roles. Dr. Najeeb teaches around the constructs of equity, diversity, inclusion, and allyship at undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty development levels and contributes to committee and policy work related to social justice and EDI. She has won numerous teaching and mentorship awards at the local, provincial and national levels.


These rounds are designed to address antisemitism and Islamophobia and to help faculty members ensure that all of our learners and faculty members feel safe and able to engage in respectful conversations.  The rounds will include content on transformative learning, dialogue. and teaching with stories about the antisemitism and Islamophobia affecting Canadian medical learners and faculty.

Learning objectives:

  1. Describe the recent and current landscape of antisemitism (AS) and Islamophobia (IP) in Canadian medical education
  2. Recognize where AS and IP fit within equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) frameworks
  3. Develop an approach to teaching these complex topics in academic settings

To register for the event, please click here.

Guide to Advance Care Planning Discussions

Developed by Residents for Residents

What is advance care planning?
Advance care planning (ACP) is a process in which a person reflects on and communicates their values, beliefs, goals, and preferences to best prepare for their future medical care. The designation of a substitute decision maker (SDM) is a key element of ACP.1

Why is ACP important?

Up to 76 per cent of patients will be unable to participate in some or all of the decisions affecting their own health care at the end of life,2 and 47 per cent of Canadians have not had a discussion with a family member or friend about what they would want or not want if they were ill and unable to communicate.3 Without the direction provided by ACP, families often feel burdened by directing medical care in crisis situations, and may feel ill-prepared to make decisions due to a lack of understanding of the patient’s values and preferences. When no prior direction has been documented, physicians often resort to using full resuscitative and medical care. This can mean aggressive treatments that the patient might not have wanted, and may result in unnecessary suffering for both the patient and their family.

Learn more about the resources that the CFPC provides here.

Traumatic Rupture of the Pancreas in Children

Figure 1. Complete rupture in the middle of the pancreas.

“Pancreatic trauma in children is rare; therefore, both scientific knowledge and clinical experience regarding its management are limited. Abdominal sonography and subsequent computed tomography (CT) imaging are the diagnostic mainstay after severe abdominal trauma in many pediatric trauma centers. However, the diagnosis of pancreatic injury is missed on the initial imaging in approximately one third of cases, with even higher numbers in young children. While conservative treatment is preferred in low-grade injuries, surgical interventions may be indicated in more severe injuries. We present a case series including four patients with high-grade pancreatic injury. Two patients were treated surgically with open laparotomy and primary suture of the head of the pancreas and pancreatico-enterostomy, one patient underwent endoscopic stenting of the pancreatic duct and one received conservative management including observation and secondary endoscopic treatment. We want to emphasize the fact that using a minimally invasive approach can be a feasible option in high-grade pancreatic injury in selected cases. Therefore, we advocate the necessity of fully staffed and equipped high-level pediatric trauma centers.”

Learn more on Minimally Invasive Approaches for Traumatic Rupture of the Pancreas in Children—A Case Series via MDPI.

In Doctors We Trust

“At the start of last summer, my 13-year-old daughter Martha was busy with life. She’d meet her friends in the park, make silly videos on her phone and play “kiss, marry, kill”. Her days were filled with books and memorising song lyrics. She’d wonder aloud if she might become an author, an engineer or a film director. Her future was brimming with promise, crowded with plans.

By the end of the summer she was dead, after shocking mistakes were made at one of the UK’s leading hospitals.

What follows is an account of how Martha was allowed to die, but also what happens when you have blind faith in doctors – and learn too late what you should have known to save your child’s life. What I learned, I now want everyone to know. In a small way, I hope Martha’s story might change how some people think about healthcare; it might even save a life.

I am a fierce supporter of the principles of the NHS and realise how many excellent doctors are practising today. There’s no need for the usual political arguments: as the hospital in question has confirmed to me, what happened to Martha had nothing to do with insufficient resources or overstretched doctors and nurses; it had nothing to do with austerity or cuts, or a health service under strain.

No matter how many times I’m told that ‘it was the doctors’ job to look after Martha’, I know, deep down, that had I acted differently, she’d still be living, and my life would not now be broken. It’s not that I think I’m to blame: the hospital has admitted breach of duty of care and talked of a ‘catastrophic error’. But if I’d been more aware of how hospitals work and how some doctors behave, my daughter would be with me now.

As another bereaved parent told me, life after the death of your child is like being on an island, separate from the mainland where the ‘normal people’ live. You so badly want to go back there but you never can. You’re stuck on the island for ever.”

Learn more on ‘We had such trust, we feel such fools’: how shocking hospital mistakes led to our daughter’s death via The Guardian.

BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

“We provide support for 36 Community Action Teams across BC to reduce overdose deaths with the CAT Knowledge Exchange initiative, which recently included a session on how to implement safer supply projects.

For International Overdose Awareness Day, explore resources that can help your community save lives.”

Learn more on the CAT Knowledge Exchange, Safer Supply Project Session (Part 1 & Part 2) via BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.